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Smallest Goldfish Types And Care Must Know Facts

Goldfish belongs to the carp family and were domesticated nearly 2000 years ago as ornamental fish in ponds and tanks in China. They were seen as a symbol of luck and fortune and were reserved for the SONG Dynasty.

Goldfish is now a bellowed aquarium pet that lives in bowls and fish tanks throughout homes, classrooms, doctor’s offices, and workplaces worldwide.

Smallest Goldfish Types And Care

What kind of Goldfish stays small? small goldfish breeds

Goldfish are medium-sized fish that grows up to 14 inches generally. The biggest Goldfish recorded in Guinness records measured 18.7 inches from snout to tail-fin in 2003 in the Netherlands.

However, there are goldfish types that stay small at maturity. Below are some small goldfish breeds that are popular among aquarists.

  • Tamasaba or Sabao Goldfish
  • Fantail Goldfish
  • Veiltail Goldfish
  • Butterfly Tail Goldfish
  • Ryukin Goldfish
  • Jilin or Peacock Goldfish
  • Tosakin Goldfish
  • Ranchu
  • Lionchu Goldfish
  • Oranda Goldfish
  • Telescope Goldfish
  • Dragon Eye Goldfish
  • Black, Red and Panda Moors
  • Pearlscale Goldfish
  • Pompom Goldfish
  • Bubble Eye Goldfish
  • Celestial Eye Goldfish
  • Stargazing Goldfish

These goldfish types are known to grow a maximum of 8 to 10 inches long. And some of them grow only 6- 8 inches. The smallest kind of Goldfish is Twisty Tailed Goldfish which grows up to 6 inches head to tail.

What is the smallest fancy Goldfish?

Fancy Goldfish always have double tails with a round, egg-shaped, or hunched body. They are a popular choice of experienced fish keepers as they need more care than single-tail goldfishes.

These Goldfish are more sensitive to water and are somewhat challenging to maintain. Fancy Goldfish are usually kept in warmer and safer aquariums with clean water conditions. They are slow swimmers and prone to accidental injuries. Fancy Goldfish usually are smaller than single-tail goldfish. Fancy Goldfish will grow up to 10 inches maximum and need around 15- 20 gallon tanks for a matured goldfish. Some of the smallest fancy Goldfish are,

  • Fancy Fantail Goldfish
  • Veiltail Goldfish
  • Butterfly Tail Goldfish
  • Ryukin Goldfish
  • Jilin Goldfish
  • Butterfly or Peacock Goldfish
  • Tosakin Goldfish
  • Peacock Tail Goldfish
  • Curly Tail Goldfish
  • Ranchu Goldfish
  • Lionhead Goldfish
  • Lionchu Goldfish
  • Oranda Goldfish
  • Tiger head or Tiger Goldfish
  • Pearlscale Goldfish
  • Pompom Goldfish
  • Bubble Eye Goldfish
  • Tosakin

Among these fancy goldfish types, Ranchu Goldfish seem to stay smaller than other goldfish types. Tosakins are known as the smallest fancy Goldfish. They are hard to find and care for, and they rarely grow over 5 inches.

How long do little Goldfish live?

If given proper care and housing conditions, Goldfish will live up to 15 years, but many Goldfish die soon because of inadequate housing conditions. Some varieties live up to 30 years, and wild Goldfish tend to live more.

If you keep a goldfish in a fishbowl, it will stunt and be an underdeveloped fish that die very young. Stunted, underdeveloped Goldfish will live a maximum of 3 years.

What is a nymph goldfish?

Nymph goldfish is a specially bred goldfish closely related to the fantail and veiltail breeds. Unlike fantail and veiltail goldfish, nymph goldfish have a single tail, single anal, and caudal fins.

They are bred on purpose and are rare. Nymph goldfish is a recessive gene that can swim fast, very hardy, and live in cold weather conditions. It will grow up to 12 inches long and will live for about 10 to 14 years.

How to care for small Goldfish

There’s not much difference in common Goldfish and small goldfish requirements. If you are experienced in keeping any Goldfish type, the same care guide goes to other breeds, too, except for some fancy species.

Usually, fancy Goldfish need extra care than single-tail goldfish. They need a warmer environment than single tail Goldfish, and the surroundings should be safer with no sharp edges as Fancy tail Goldfish are prone to accidental injuries. Also, fancy tail goldfish also require clean water conditions as they are not hardy as the common Goldfish.

Water Requirements for small Goldfish

The optimum temperature for Goldfish is between 60° and 70°F while fancy Goldfish prefer 68° to 74° F. Ideal Ph level is between 7.0 and 8.4, but they can tolerate more than that. Also, the water temperature or other conditions change rapidly, it can harm Goldfish, although it’s not fatal. You can keep your Goldfish healthy if you add a tablespoon of sea salt or aquarium salt per every 5 gallons of water.

You need to change 10% of water weekly or 25% of water bi-weekly using a vacuum cleaner while running a sound filtration system. Also, adding a water conditioner will help stabilize the water condition for your Goldfish.

Housing Requirements small Goldfish

Tank size

Common Goldfish, comets and shubunkins need at least 20 gallons of water per fish, and fancy Goldfish need at least 10 gallons per fish. Also, you should not keep any type of Goldfish in fishbowls, small aquariums, or any unfiltered containers, as it can decrease your fish’s lifespan.

Goldfish grow to be quite large that they produce a significant amount of waste. Hence Goldfish demand relatively high Oxygen amounts. You can keep Goldfish types in ponds, but fancy Goldfish are vulnerable to Predators as they are slow swimmers.

Filtration System small Goldfish

If kept in an aquarium, you should install a slightly oversized filter to accommodate high waste production, and additional aeration is recommended when you keep Goldfish in warmer environments. Provide adequate water flow but avoid strong currents.

Aquarium Plants

Giant Goldfish tend to eat live plants with the possible exception of Cryptocoryne, Java fern, and Anubias. Also, growing aquarium plants in Goldfish tanks are recommended as they are omnivores.


You should avoid decorations with sharp edges and abrasive rocks, especially if you keep fancy Goldfish like Butterfly Tail Goldfish, Lionchu Goldfish and Bubble Eye Goldfish.


Goldfish like to forage in the substrate. Because of that, you need to avoid jagged or crushed glass gravel. Also, gravel with soft round edges is suitable for Goldfish.

small Goldfish Food Requirements

Goldfish are omnivorous fish. They will eat anything you feed them. But that doesn’t mean that you should put everything you eat into your Goldfish tank. Also, some food is actually toxic for Goldfish. Goldfish eat crustaceans, insects, and plant matter in the wild. If you can provide this food, it will provide essential nutrition to your fish.

In captivity, you can feed with pellets and flakes specifically made for Goldfish. Additionally, you can feed with fruits and vegetables for variety. Goldfish are known to get bored with the same food over time, so it’s important to introduce various foods as snacks. So it would be best if you didn’t feed with rice or bread as these foods can cause gastrointestinal problems in Goldfish. Sometimes, it will cause the death of your Goldfish.

Additionally, they like to eat frozen and live foods like bloodworms, brine shrimps, snails, krill, and algae.

small Goldfish Lifespan

The average lifespan of Goldfish is 10 to 15 years. However, this life expectancy can lessen up if the water and housing conditions are poor and not enough. Also, goldfish who live in fishbowls only live up to 3 years because of the fish’s stunted development due to insufficient water.

Goldfish who live in the wild have more life expectancy. Because in the wild, the Goldfish can live as long as 25 years. The longest living Goldfish on record was Tish, owned by a UK family who lived to age 43 and was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest living fish.

Goldfish Size

If you keep Goldfish in a fishbowl or a small fish tank, they tend to stay about 1 -2 inches long and will never grow larger than 6 inches long. For adequate growth, Goldfish need at least 20 gallons of water for each fish. If you provide proper housing and care, it will grow up to its maximum length. Single tail goldfish grow up to 10 to 12 inches, and fancy tail goldfish grows up to 6- 10 inches in large aquariums.

If Goldfish’s environment, water condition, food, and health are favorable, Goldfish will reach their full size in about eight weeks.

Goldfish Facts

Unlike other pet fish, Goldfish are known as interesting pets as there are mind-blowing facts about Goldfish. You might be surprised by some points as these are mere fish. But, Goldfish are not just ‘ordinary’ fish that are beautiful for the tank. They’ve got exciting things you’ll like to know. Here are some of them.

1.Goldfish can see more colors than humans

Humans can see a combination of 3 primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. But, Goldfish can see one more color than humans, and that’s ultraviolet light. However, they can’t see far and have a blind spot right in front of their nose.

2. Goldfish have an excellent memory

Many people think that Goldfish have only 3-second memory. Ut, that’s a myth. Goldfish have an excellent memory compared to other fish breeds. To confirm this, some Israeli scientists trained their Goldfish to come to a dinner bell sound and let them go to the sea. Also, guess what? Five months later, they all still came back for the dinner bell sound. Amazing. Right?

3. Goldfish have a sixth Sense

An organ called “Lateral Line” gives a Goldfish the ability to feel pressure changes in the water like vibration and currents. So It does its job in hearing, touch, balance, and sonar all in one. Also, the Sonar sense is something every animal doesn’t have.

4. Goldfish lives in the dark turn white

Goldfish need light to produce pigment in their skin that helps Goldfish to have vibrant colors. Also, If you keep a Goldfish in the dark, it can’t make any pigments; hence it turns white. No light = No color.

5. Goldfish eat anything that fits in their mouth

Goldfish are omnivores. So they can eat anything from meat to plants if that thing fits in their mouth. This includes small fish. Even their own babies. Bad parents. Right?

6. Goldfish can recognize faces

Goldfish can recognize shapes, colors, and sounds. That’s why they remember your face and come to you when you are around. You are not a shapeless blob to your pet.

7. Goldfish don’t have eyelids

Goldfish don’t blink as they don’t have eyelids. So, they won’t close their eyes even when they are asleep.

8. Goldfish have a longer lifespan than any other domestic fish

Goldfish can live an average of 10 to 15 years in captivity. However, if you take care of your Goldfish well, they can live for more than 25 years. Also, there’s a record of one Goldfish that lived for 43 years. That means you can keep your pet even for half of your life.

9. You can train Goldfish to do some tricks

Like dogs and cats, Goldfish can also learn tricks if you use food as a reward. Playing soccer, pushing a ball through a hoop, and going through an obstacle course are some of them.

10. Goldfish Sleep at night

Although Goldfish don’t close their eyes, they do sleep at night. That’s why you need to turn off the lights at night.

11. The largest Goldfish is the size of an average cat

The largest Goldfish recorded was 18.7 inches long from head to tail. Also, that’s the size of an average cat without the tail. That’s pretty big. Right?

12. Goldfish have teeth in the back of their throat

Scientifically, these teeth are called pharyngeal teeth, and they are used to grind up the food they eat.

13. The primary goal of Goldfish is Eating

Goldfish don’t have a stomach to hold up food and digest. Instead, they have one long intestine to digest food. Food moves through that fast. Because of that, Goldfish are always hungry. If you let Goldfish eat all day, they will eat to death. That’s why you shouldn’t overfeed them.

14. Goldfish has more varieties than any other species

There are over 300 different varieties of Goldfish. Also, any other fish species don’t have that many varieties recorded in books. This is because of hybrid breeding of hardworking Goldfish breeders for years.

15. Goldfish can survive without food for up to 3 weeks

Although they are greedy fish, they can live without food for up to 3 weeks. That’s because they store fat in their body for lean times.

16. Goldfish will grow to the size of its tank

Although Goldfish grow much more significantly, they will not grow more prominent in small tanks and bowls. Also, they produce a hormone that controls their growth rate if water changes are not done frequently. This is called stunted growing, and that’s not good for your fish. Because of this, you’ll be able to keep your Goldfish in a small tank or bowl, but their lifespan significantly decreases because of stunted growth.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.